Satellite based Remote Sensing provides the much neededsynoptic viewing capability, multi-spectral and selectable spatial resolutions for imaging, including the multi-temporal coverage of any selected area of interest. All this is provided, optimally, by existing constellation of India Remote Sensing satellites (IRS). The space-based imaging, coupled with the GIS and GPS technologies, has given a new way of looking into watershed development activities in the country. The remote sensing and geospatial technologies facilitate varieties of activities that include watershed prioritization, planning, monitoring of implementation and impact evaluation of developmental programs. These have been successfully been employed in many watershed development projects by NRSC. Watershed development programmes have been carried out both through central government funding as well as state government initiatives across the country. This is a novel approach to ensure land and water conservation and ensuring the well being of th e rural folks through a well-planned development strategy. The watershed development is expected to address slope/ gradient based developmental plans that would reduce runoff, increase infiltration, conserve the soil, allow percolation of water, enrich surface and ground water etc. The early initiative of IMSD by ISRO/DOS provided the right kind of opening for the use of remote sensing technology for planning and monitoring of watershed development programs.
A State-specific initiative “Sujala watershed development project” was implemented in 6 Districts of Karnataka State resulted in showcasing the use of technology and participatory development in about 750 micro-watersheds. This Project is carried out jointly up by ANTRIX Corporation and RRSC, South, NRSC gave a good insight into participatory methods and demonstratedthe adaptation of best practices and efficient use of space and information technology with significant success. This model is highly acclaimed for its planning, implementation and M&E and is bestowed with many national and international awards..